Get on the Blogging Bandwagon!

Posted by Jon Gelberg, on July 13th, 2010

Fact #1: Everybody is blogging these days.

Fact #2: Very few people are blogging effectively.

Fact #3: Even fewer blogs generate business, revenues, and profits.

Fact #4: A great blog can do wonders for an entrepreneurial business.

A well-written, informative and entertaining blog will get your company attention from a variety of sources. It will enhance your placement on search engines, garner incoming links from websites and may even get the attention of the media.

Most importantly, it will help to establish you and your company as major players in your industry.

So what makes a great blog? More specifically, what creates a business-generating blog?

Before you begin to blog, ask yourself, “why am I blogging?”

  • To introduce my business to the world?
  • To personalize my business?
  • To help establish myself as an expert in my field?
  • To provide valuable information to my visitors about my industry?
  • To give my target visitors information on subjects that is of interest to them?
  • To enter a dialogue with my visitors?
  • To drive sales for my business?
  • To rank higher in search engines?

Introducing your Business to the World
Unless you are a Fortune 500 company, there are countless millions of people who have never heard of you. A company blog is a terrific vehicle for introducing yourself:

  • Be conversational.
  • Tell your visitors what you do.
  • Tell them about your products and services.
  • Tell them what distinguishes you from your competition.

The key is not to hit them over the head with a heavy sales pitch. Make it informative and useful and grateful visitors will become your customers.

The Personal Touch
Companies can be monoliths. A blog is a terrific tool for putting a human face on your business. Business owners can show their passion for their products. Employees can talk about the company culture, and what a great place your business is to work. Just as in the real world, people like doing business with people they like. Photographs and videos can go a long way to putting a human face on your company.

Establishing Yourself as an Expert
If you have started a business or are running a business, presumably you have a great deal of expertise in your field. A blog gives you a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your expertise to the world. In doing so, you give visitors confidence in your abilities, which often has the effect of turning visitors into clients or customers.

For example:

  • A real estate law firm can provide specific, useful advice about closings
  • An accounting firm can give advice about the latest IRS rulings
  • A cardiologist can give advice about diet and exercise

Provide Valuable Industry Information
Beyond showing your company’s expertise, you can provide information on industry trends. As a service to your visitors, summarize the latest news and don’t be afraid to link them to articles. Even though you are sending them away from your site, visitors will remember the valuable service you provided.

For example:

  • If you are selling shoes, tell people about the latest trends and styles. Link them to stories about the latest fashion shows in Milan.
  • If you are a dermatologist, talk about specific conditions and treatments. Tell your visitors about the latest research and link them to relevant studies.
  • If you are a web design or marketing company, link to the latest news from Mashable or Technorati.

Cater to the Tastes of Your Audience
If you understand your business, then you understand your target audience. As a further service to your audience, provide information of particular interest to them.

For example:

  • If you are a health food store, blog about adventure travel
  • If you are a sporting goods store, blog about a sporting event or personality
  • If you are an airline, blog about travel destinations

Entering Into a Dialogue with Your Audience
One great feature about blogging is that it allows readers to comment on the blog post. Do not ignore these comments! Reader comments are a terrific way to find out what your visitors like and don’t like about your posts. Feedback can result in better communication, better customer service and maybe even in ways to improve what you do.

Driving Sales with Your Blog
This is where things get tricky. People who read blogs don’t want to be directly marketed to. Give them enough information to capture their attention, but leave them wanting just a little bit more. A subtle nudge like “for more information…” or “want to know more about…” can help turn visitors into clients or customers.

The Search Engine Optimization Benefits
Search engines like most of the same things that internet users like. There are several important ways that a blog on your company website can help increase your search engine rankings:

  • Fresh content: search engines pay more attention to websites that update their content more often.
  • Relevant content: the more well-organized content you have on your site, the more potential it has to be perceived as relevant to your target search queries.
  • Authoritative content: a major factor in search engine rankings is how many other relevant websites are linking to yours. Be a resource to others on the web who are interested in your area of expertise; nothing indicates authority and rank-worthiness to Google/Yahoo/Bing like other authoritative sources linking to your content or citing you as a source.

 

In Conclusion
An informative, entertaining and interactive blog can put a great face on your business. If you are willing to devote the time to writing quality blogs and write them with enough frequency to keep visitors coming back for more, then you have the opportunity to generate new business and offer your current clients one more reason to stay with you.

Jon Gelberg is the Chief Content Officer at Blue Fountain Media, where he oversees a wide range of content initiatives including Blue Fountain Media’s “Business Learning Center.”  Read more about Jon here.

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